It's worth noting that the gas tax is not the only smart tax that has ever been replaced by stupid taxes in history. A great example of a stupid tax is the income tax, which largely replaced duties, imposts, and excises. Why stupid?
Any number of ways, because taxes influence behavior--negatively of course. Taxing income penalizes work, while removing tariffs rewards spending. This effects unemployment, the environment, welfare impacts, and more. Let's take a look at what we could do if we reinstated a standard 15% tariff on all imported goods and used it to fund the Navy, the Coast Guard, and yes, border enforcement including a fence with Mexico.
You'd get somewhere between $100 and $200 billion dollars, and could immediately cut income taxes by about that amount--increasing dependent deductions by $3000 or more. Take the first $10 billion and build that border fence, take the next ten billion and start deporting illegals--fingerprinting them so they cannot legally immigrate for another decade.
But don't stop there. Consider that with such an income tax cut, domestic industries don't need tax breaks anymore and cut corporate welfare by the amount you have left. Increase dependent deductions by another $3000 or so.
No, don't stop now. With mass deportation of those who aren't allowed to be here, watch costs for welfare, incarceration, and other social services plunge. Keep on cutting those income taxes. Watch the tariff on petroleum reduce funding for islamicists--and you can cut military funding. Keep on cutting those income taxes.
All in all, I would suggest that a revenue tariff (15%, not the 50% "Tariff of Abominations") would, if handled right, allow us to virtually eliminate the income tax. Perhaps that doesn't make me a good modern libertarian, but it does make me one who ever more appreciates the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. They were so right when they prohibited direct taxation.
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